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Dogs and Children

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
After much thought, and tears, we have decided that our Border Collie Pup has to leave us. Over the last 10 days, she has continued to bite our 4 young children. Admitedly we took on the dog without really researching the breed, and have since found out that the Border Collie is not really suitable for a family with young children.

Anyway, does anyone have any good recomendations for the breeds of dog that ARE good with children. We definately want another dog, and have vowed to go into it with our eyes much wider than before!

Im sure you will all wish me luck, in finding Emma a more suitable home
post #2 of 13
Oh I'm so sorry to hear that, I have just bought two Border Collie pups myslef - they will be coming to live with us at the end of next month. We don't have any children and are not planning any, so we don't have that worry - the collies are trying to heard your children, they don't mean to hurt them, but I do agree, its not the best situation.
It really depends on how big of a dog you want, but if you want a dog that is EXCELLENT with children, try a Bernese Mountain dog or a Newfoundland.... they are both renowned for being ultra gentle dogs, and I have owned a Bernese Mountain dog myself - she is WONDERFUL!!!! Extremely gentle and friendly as is the Newfoundland, though they are BIG dogs and occasionally clumsy... so watch your ornaments!!
Another dog you might consider which isn't quite as big is an Old English Sheepdog, they are also renowned for being exceptionally good with children..... but they take ALOT of grooming or they can devolop skin mites...

Hope this helps. (btw, I'm sure you already know this, but generally if you get a bitch, she will be smaller than a male)
post #3 of 13
PS, here is a paragraph on Bernese Mountain Dogs regarding temperment and children (I pinched it from a site about dogs)

General Character And Temperament
Berners are good-natured dogs who love to be included in all aspects of family life, making wonderful companions. They are affectionate, patient dogs and especially good with children, protecting them if necessary. They need to be with people and be given affection. They will bark to advise the arrival of visitors but will soon settle down again. Provided they have been introduced to cats and other household animals when young, they will always accept them. Some of them can be dominant with other dogs.

I also just wanted to add that although it says they can be dominant with other dogs, this is pretty rare and is usuall only a problem if they are not socialized when young. I'd recommend puppy classes for socialization - its so much fun!!
post #4 of 13
This is another paragraph, this time of Newfoundlands.. taken from the same site

General Character And Temperament
Newfies are very docile, gentle and make great family pets. They have a natural life-saving instinct, which makes them unsuitable to go swimming with, as they would continually try to drag you out of the water. Generally the Newfoundland has a superb temperament and will get on well with both people and other animals. They are very outgoing and live life to the full, said to be one of the friendliest breeds.
post #5 of 13
I was watching a show on best family dogs. The #1 is the golden retriever. Goldens are easy to train and strong, but their most outstanding trait is character. They are outgoing and devoted companions to all sorts of people, happy and trusting. They make great hunting companions, also.

#2 was the standard bred poodle - these poodles are supposed to be excellent with small children. here are three sizes of Poodles--Standard, Miniature, and Toy.
They are alike in every way except for size. All Poodles originated from the Standard Poodle. Poodles are smart, loyal, proud and fun. They seem to understand the moods of their special friends.
They enjoy the challenges of obedience training, which gives these intelligent dogs great happiness. Politely reserved around strangers, they can also have a playful sense of humor.

#3 was bison frise (they are good for families that have allergies).This cheerful little dog looks like a gentle puffball, but ishealthy and sturdy enough for play and exercise. Bichons get along with just about everyone, including strangers and other animals. They are active, alert, and curious. They are also highly trainable with gentle handling.
post #6 of 13
I agree the Standard size Poodle is excellent with young children, however, even though the smaller versions can be good pets, I wouldn't recommend them with small children (under 5yrs) because they tend to be a bit nippy.

I have always felt the larger breeds (not all) are better with children because they can put up with being stepped on, tugged on, etc.

When I was growing up we had a Husky.....excellent! and a lot of fun in the winter!

We also had an Airdale......LOVES children and very smart! Ours lived to be 18yrs old!

Now I have children of my own and we have an American Staffordshire Terrier. She is the BEST dog with my kids! They have an EXTREMELY high pain tolerence so when my 2yr old bit the dog (and drew blood) all the dog did was yelp! I'll catch my daughter twisting the dogs poor ears and all she's doing is laying there taking it.
They are very athletic and are perfect for an older child who loves to run around. (I also have an 8yr old son)

But whatever breed you get, remember to take it to puppy training.

post #7 of 13
When I was little my family had a minture poodle, she was a lovely little thing, but got very jealous of me - the baby of the family, she started snapping at me and in the end got quite vicious towards me so my parents gave her to an elderly coupldy who had other poodles, she was fine with them.... no nipping at all. The standard poodles ARE wonderful dogs....gentle giants
Also just a point here, I was talking to a friend when we were looking at different dog breeds, I suggested a Cocker Spaniel and she freaked, cos apparently in the US they have a rep for being a bit vicious, however, the English Cocker is a great family dog and good with kids
post #8 of 13
Does it have to be a purebred? For most of my life, some of our best dogs have been mutts, from a shelter. I have had good luck, with my two Dalmatians but they are very energetic dogs and need attention.

Labs get high marks, as good family dogs. My mother has a bad one but I think that he is an aberration.

If you're going with a purebred, make sure that you use a reputable breeder and see the parents. Whatever you do, DO NOT buy from a pet store. Most of those dogs come from puppy mills and will give you nothing but grief!
post #9 of 13

If you keep your pups active and working, then they should be fine. Borders are working dogs and need to herd to survive, without anything to herd, they tend to get a bit anxious. When we had Blackjack, he ended up herding the cats, the grandkids, the horses. We finally realized that our home, although we have farmland and such, was not suitable for him and we took him to the Trials out at Scio. He sure had a eye for the sheep, and one eventer who had 4 dogs in the herding competition saw Blackjack and was impressed and found out he was for sale. We sold him that evening to her and now Blackjack is one of the top Trial dogs in Washington State.

Borders are smart and cute, but not suitable for all homes. If you have geese, sheep, chickens, something the dog can work with and get some of that energy out, that is the best thing you can do for them. Good luck!
post #10 of 13
We recently adopted a basset hound from the shelter. We had a basset while I was growing up and they make wonderful family dogs. They do shed a bit though!
post #11 of 13
I am sorry to hear that Emma is leaving you...

I don't have a breed recommenation, but I do have a tip.

When you get the dog, get PROPER obedience training from a credible outfit and start immediately... and involve the whole family right away, especially in terms of reinforcing basic commands.

Regardless of the breed (ie/ Newfie, Golden ret. or border collie), dogs and owners benefit greatly from proper training... in fact, it's often more a matter of training the humans than the dogs. Most behavioral problems can be prevented entirely with proper schooling. I can't emphasize this enough.

Also, a question that isn't often asked by families getting dogs (or cats) these days... can you really afford the time to train and excercise the dog properly? This is a serious committment, especially when they are young.

Working breed dogs, like Newfies and Golden Retrievers, have special needs: they MUST get enough exercise and attention or their energy gets diverted by more negative outlets. This has to be taken into account when you choose a dog... regardless of how cute the puppy or breed is. The three biggest mistakes people make... 1) buying on impulse; 2) buying by look of the dog (ie/ poodles are SO cute); and 3) buying on the sole basis of the puppy's personality (ie/ don't forget that the dog grows up, so keep the whole breed in mind).

As for selecting a breed... do a lot of reseach and take your time to get a good match. Ask a lot of questions. Go to a dog show... talk to different owners of different breeds. This is a 10-20 year committment... it's important to take the time and do the work to get it right.

If time is at a premium, I'd pass on getting a dog.

edited because my spelling has deserted me... must be Friday ;-D
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
This morning, my lovely Emma left us.

After our advert in the paper we had a call from a lady who tarins dogs. After seeing Emma on Thursday, she came back with her older Border Collie last night, they got on really well. Linda (the new owner and trainer) wanted to take her last night, but I told her I wanted just one more night with Emma. It was funny, as Emma usually sleeps in the kitchen at night with the door locked, and is really good. Anyway, last night she howled for about an hour to be let out, eventually she managed (dont know how, very intelligent breed the BC!) to get out! She spent the night asleep next to our bed she must have wanted to stay close on her final night. It was lovely We all said a fond farewell, and shed a few tears as she was driven away. My cat Purdie, keeps looking for her, but shes happy now she has the run of the house! And the only thing she has to worry about being chased by, is the kids!

Anyway, thats that. We are going to get another dog, as soon as one we like becomes avaialable. One thing is for sure, we will take our time, and not get ripped off again!
post #13 of 13
It's really a shame Emma wasn't a suitable pet for your family.
BTW, my brother-in-law has a border collie named Tippy on his farm who is a working herd dog. Twice a day it's Tippy's job to herd the cows into the barn for milking. That seems to be enough to keep her happy. She's a wonderful dog, and whenever we visit she gives us the nicest greeting.
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